worm turned

the worm (has) turned

Said when a normally quiet, submissive, or patient person or group of people is retaliating or refusing to put up with agitation or mistreatment. With the dictator in hiding and the oppressed population taking control, it seems that the worm has turned. I used to get awful verbal abuse from my last boss, but the worm turned and I told him where he could stick it. Now I'm starting up my own rival company.
See also: turn, worm
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

worm (has) turned

Fig. Someone who is usually patient and humble has decided to stop being so. Jane used to be treated badly by her husband and she just accepted it, but one day she hit him. The worm turned all right. Tom used to let the other boys bully him on the playground, but one day the worm turned and he's now leader of their gang.
See also: turn, worm
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
Da Souza did hear it, and the worm turned. He sat down in the most comfortable easy-chair, and addressed Trent directly.
For a moment the worm turned. Barrington rose to his feet, and with a deep flush upon his cheeks moved towards the door.
Me Dalling said:"Simply put, the worm turned. She is not proud of her behaviour.
But as he defied moral convention and the law--he was found not guilty of assisted suicides in acts of blatant jury nullification--the worm turned. By the time he was finally convicted of murder in 1999, Kevorkian's assisted-suicide campaign was widely accepted in public polling, he had been lauded repeatedly on 60 Minutes, and he had even been invited to Time magazine's 75th Anniversary Gala, where Tom Cruise rushed up to shake his hand.
But then the worm turned. With 15 minutes to go, Ireland became lethargic in midfield and defence and invited Austria onto them.
His obvious disdain for both the Chinese Communists and left-wing historians who described the so-called "revolutionary potential" of the peasants causes him to shy away from the "moral economy" argument advanced by some like Ralph Thaxton in The Worm Turned Rightside Up: Revolutionary Legitimacy in the Peasant Worm (New
"Yes, it is very much time the worm turned so I suggest you send copies of your article to every politician in the country, particularly to Mr Cameron, and ask 'What are you going to do about it?' "Yes, by all means enlist your readers as revolution members but, before membership is issued, ensure they can answer one question 'Do you know and keep track of what your kids get up to of an evening?'" My kids, all being well, Phil, are looking after their kids.
If cruel luck had bedevilled the Falcons up to that point, how that worm turned when Albi pitched up.
So not only had the worm turned at that precise moment, but a career had opened up for me.
So it was not surprising that the worm turned on Thursday when a clutch of ministers demanded that the measures be rescinded.
But the worm turned last week when the paper carried an article slamming the rise in anti-social behaviour and recent murders in the area as happening on Gerry's "watch".
How the worm turned. The SPL is not Europe and the unsophisticated tackles that became Balde's crunching trademark worked when the opposition was modest and referees were generous in their interpretation of physical contact.
So in 2003 the Worm turned and everything in it was now factual.
In those days, a prudent banker accumulated capital in good times so he had a fat cushion behind him when the worm turned and the bad debts came rolling in.
Is it time the worm turned? Time perhaps as in America to demand through elections the appointment of judges who reflect the public will.